Document Type : research paper
Purpose: The purpose of the research is to evaluate the compliance of tourism development with the ecotourism principles through the opinions of visitors Guilan province as a unique destination in Iran.
Methods: This study was conducted using the descriptive-analytical method. A questionnaire is designed and filled by the visitors. The gathered data have been analyzed by binomial, Friedman, and path analysis in SPSS and LISREL software. The barometer of ecotourism has also been modified to explain human welfare and natural ecotourism.
Results: The results of this research have indicated that the tourism activities are significantly compliant with the principles and that education and awareness can considerably influence other dimensions.
Conclusion: Tourists in the study area are highly interested in observing the principles of ecotourism. This is seen in all aspects of helping the local economy, protecting the environment, communicating with the local community, and education. However, the status of environmental protection is appropriate in the study area. This is likely resulted from understanding of the visitors about the unique nature of Guilan province and its outstanding features. The scarcity of these resources has made tourists more protective of them. On the other hand, since most of the tourists in this province have recreational purposes, we should try to pay more attention to education as one of the pillars of ecotourism.
Keywords: tourism development, ecotourism principles, barometer of ecotourism,